The Minnesota Twins went into New York City looking to exorcise some demons against an undermanned New York Yankees squad, but ran into unexpected turbulence in multiple forms and picked up just one win in three games.
The turning point(s)
The Yankees jumped out to a 2-0 lead with runs in each of the first two innings, but the crushing blows were solo homers from Gary Sanchez in the fifth and seventh innings, pushing a 4-1 lead to a 6-1 advantage before Nelson Cruz popped a two-run homer in the eighth to make things look a bit closer.
Kyle Gibson was good, but not great, and was did in by his defense with a pair of errors leading to three unearned runs for the Yankees.
Mike Morin showed off his dazzling changeup, and was one out away from two clean innings of work before allowing one of the home runs to Sanchez.
Mitch Garver’s third-inning homer gave the Twins a 2-0 lead, and that was all Jake Odorizzi needed as he continued to dazzle with six shutout innings. Odorizzi allowed just two hits, fanned eight and walked four before leaving with a 4-0 lead.
Odorizzi had 15 swinging strikes on 100 pitches, and lowered his season ERA to 2.78 in the process. Cruz added another homer late — one of just two hits on the weekend for him — to give the Twins some breathing room in the ninth.
…here comes the raaaaaain again.
In a game that was symbolic in a lot of ways, the Twins were held at bay by a nasty young righty named Domingo German who was dealing upper 90s heat with a well located breaking ball. The Twins broke through with a single to center to score Eddie Rosario in the fourth, but that was it in a game dominated more by the weather than anything.
A rain delay was called in the bottom of the eighth, and ultimately the game was called with the Yankees up, 4-1.
As a team, the Twins hit just .206/.291/.351 on the weekend.
Marwin Gonzalez led the Twins with five hits over the weekend, while Garver and Byron Buxton each had three knocks and Jonathan Schoop, C.J. Cron, Cruz and Eddie Rosario each had two.
Buxton hit .375/.500/.625 on the weekend, while Gonzalez hit .385/.385/.385 (all singles, no walks).
Max Kepler was just 1 for 10, while Jorge Polanco was held hitless all weekend (0 for 12 with a walk).
Odorizzi and Gibson both had terrific final numbers, though Gibson did allow nine baserunners in five innings.
For the series, Twins pitchers had a 3.38 ERA, 1.38 WHIP and fanned 10.9 batters per nine innings.
- The Twins faced some terrific pitching over the weekend. German looks a lot like Yordano Ventura did, and has the stuff to match it.
- It really is going to be interesting to watch these teams battle the next few years as both are on upward trends.
- This is a good Yankees team. Even when they aren’t healthy, they’re winning ballgames they should. A great bullpen helps that a lot.
The Twins head to the Great White North to take on the Toronto Blue Jays for three games before returning home. Toronto took three of four from the Twins on the last homestand, so Minnesota needs a sweep to win the season series.
Here are the probable pitching matchups:
- LHP Martin Perez (3.41 ERA) vs. RHP Marcus Stroman (2.20)
- RHP Jose Berrios (2.91) vs. RHP Aaron Sanchez (3.09)
- RHP Kyle Gibson (4.68) vs. RHP Trent Thornton (4.08)
The Twins are off Thursday, and then will play four games in three days — doubleheader on Saturday — against the Detroit Tigers at Target Field.
- Reliever Tom Hackimer was promoted from High-A Fort Myers to Double-A Pensacola on Monday. Hackimer’s departure makes room for Edwar Colina with the Miracle, as he was on the injured list.
- The Twins are second in MLB with a .485 slugging percentage.
- Only Seattle (4.8 percent) is homering more often than the Twins (4.7 percent).
- Minnesota is seventh in runs scored per game (5.2).
- The Twins lead MLB in well-hit average (.238) and are third in average exit velocity (90.6 mph) and percentage of balls hit 95-plus mph (44.7 percent).